The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog – Himanjali Sankar

The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog - Himanjali Sankar

Having read Himanjali Sankar’s Talking of Muskaan, a book meant for young adults dealing with a serious topic, I was only too eager to read this book to see the author’s attempt at humour.

Rousseau, named after the eighteenth century (do make a note of the exact time period, lest Rousseau’s humans, Kaavya or Anya take offence) French philosopher, is a silly, but happy dog , who lives with Kaavya and Anya, and their mother Mrs. Ghosh. He has a special power.

His super power is his ability to tell time using a certain code of barks followed by thumps of his tail. In case you’re wondering how he told the time, listen here. This is very useful for the Ghosh household, for they never had to look at clocks or watches to know the time. It is quite a different matter that their friends and neighbours never really appreciated this ability.

The Orange Marmaladies from the Black Hole of Time were the original timekeepers, and as the humans learnt new things and became developed, they (the humans) stopped noticing Marmaladies. This irks them and they want to do something about it.

Oran Marma, the chief scientist of the Orange Marmaladies makes a breakthrough, when he realizes that it was when they put the Chip of the Old Block — which is actually a small piece broken from the first sundial called the obelisk — into the crack in the Perfect Om of Time behind the Master Clock of Tock, that they became invisible to the humans.

So, to take revenge on the humans and to set things right, they decide to remove the Chip of the Old Block. They think they would regain their importance and probably even get special seats to watch their favourite miss Universe show.

So they remove the Chip of the Old Block. Every single watch and clock on Earth stops showing time. What a chaos it results in! Humans, who earlier had the ability to tell time without the help of a clock had recently become so dependent on clocks that their world stumbles, save for one household.

Yes, the Ghosh household is unaffected because of Rousseau’s presence. When an eager news reporter chances upon this truth, what follows is a news item and then a show on TV six. With the show getting unprecedented success, and people wanting to know the time periodically, Rousseau becomes a superstar like Shah Rukh Khan overnight.

He is sought by everyone. The Royal Academy of Science in London is ready to fly the whole family to London to do research on Rousseau.

What ensues is a comic tale where an entire world follows a superdog. What happens to Rousseau? What happens to Time? Did the Orange Marmaladies’ plan succeed? Read to find out.

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  1. Hahaha! A hypothetical question is the base of the plot. What if a dog could tell the time? It has been developed so imaginatively by the author, that I was really amused. The chaos that erupts in the world when time fails has been treated with remarkable detail. For people like the parents of Mrs. Ghosh, who are holidaying in the Caribbean, and for whom time does not matter, it is a trivial thing!
  2. Gentle humour laced throughout the book keeps the smile fixed on the face. A real stress-buster.
  3. The narrative’s flow is perfectly paced.
  4. The Orange Marmaladies is a fantastic concept. Is the root of the word marmalade or ‘marma'(as in Tamil, meaning mysterious) ladies? The description of these beings is hilarious. As I type this out, I am wondering how many marmaladies are dancing on my keyboard, or probably on my head!
  5. Pooja Pottenkulam’s illustrations add to the humour in the story. I particularly liked the newspaper report where Rousseau makes the headlines. There are other stories like “Times square renamed Timeless Square” and “Punctuality no longer a Virtue”. Well done!
  6. The golden words from the father of Mrs. Ghosh. Look at the paradox in these words!

    When there is no time, there is no hurry — that is the beauty of the situation.

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  1. There is a particular episode of Mr. Ghosh when Time fails. Mr. Ghosh lives in Germany. There is not much explanation on this long-distance relationship, keeping it slightly mysterious. This seems to be irrelevant to the story. This portion could have been removed without affecting the story.

Time fails but the Timetelling dog fares well!

A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.

A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.

Book Details:

Title The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog
Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle Edition
Flipkart Paperback
Flipkart eBook
Editor(s)/Author(s)/Illustrator(s)/Translator(s) Himanjali Sankar, Pooja Pottenkulam
Publisher Duckbill

About Menaka S

Menaka is a computational linguist by education, an optimist by attitude and a dreamer by how she spends her time. Being left-brained, she runs PlusMinus'n'More to indulge her right brain interests.

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